My children were extremely blessed to have the opportunity to attend Bing Nursery School which is part of the School of Humanties and Sciences at Stanford University. Esteemed Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s work on Growth Mindset is pervasive in Bing’s philosophy and my children have benefited enormously. According to Professor Dweck, a growth mindset means children believe that “intelligence can be developed through practice, learning, good mentorship from others. “
Professor Dweck discusses how children with a fixed mindset believe that “their basic talents and abilities are just these fixed traits. They have a certain amount of intelligence or talent and that’s that.” She then explains that the danger in this is “The wrong mindset, can make them afraid of challenges, afraid of effort, afraid of setbacks.“
At Bing, I observed my children’s skilled teachers masterfully engage with my frustrated then three year old using the power of “yet” to ensure that the task at hand was not simply something he couldn’t do, but rather something he wasn’t able to do. . . . yet. I have taken this skill with me and use it to this day well into my eldest’s the middle school years.
Last year he was introduced to solving for a variable in an equation. He was frustrated and yelled, “I just can’t do it. “ I carefully replied back to him, “Of course you don’t have the skills to do it YET. . . that’s why you go to school. . . to learn how! “ It was important for me to further explain to him that once he became frustrated, his brain would actually block itself off from learning new concepts. Once he understood that he wasn’t expected to already know how to do these math problems and that he was capable of learning how to solve them; this changed his entire mindset and as a result, he is now open to new challenges. In fact it was so life changing that math has become his favorite subject this year.
I have to remind myself daily, sometimes hourly, of the power of yet. This applies to myself personally as well as for my company. There’s so much I want to do to grow Verima and oftentimes I am told, “No. “ But to me, this just translates to, “Not yet. “ And then I proceed to plan how I can position Verima to be poised to jump when the opportunity presents itself.
Personally speaking, I am in unchartered territory as a stay-at-home-mom turned entrepreneur/CEO of Verima, and the learning curve is exhilaratingly steep. It would be easy to get overwhelmed at all the business acumen I need to acquire in a new and unregulated industry nonetheless. But, I persevere and continue forward knowing that if something is new to me, I possess the intelligence to learn it and I simply haven’t been exposed to it yet.
Be kind to yourself, and remember like our children we CAN learn and acquire new skills and knowledge so long as we believe we can and keep our minds open.